Hangzhou, Sep 26 (IANS) The 17-year-old Neha Thakur of Madhya Pradesh opened India's account in the Asian Games sailing competitions with a silver medal in the Girl's Dinghy -- ILCA4 at the NBX Sailing Centre in Ningbo, here on Tuesday.
Neha, a 12th-pass student, who started sailing at the National Sailing School Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh at a very early age, finished second behind Noppassorn Khunboonjan of Thailand after 11 races in this category.
At the end of the 10th race, Neha had a net score (penalty points) of 23 as compared to 14 by the Thai sailor. Jaekyoung Seol of the Republic of Korea had a net score of 27 and was in third place.
In the 11th race on Tuesday, Neha finished fourth and bagged 4 race points while the Thai managed to finish second behind Singapore's Keira Marie Carlyle. Korea's Seol came third in the 11th race but her gains were not enough to overtake Neha to the second position.
Neha, who was born at Amaltaj village in Dewas district of Madhya Pradesh comes from a middle-class family. Her father Mukesh Kumar Thakur is a farmer while her mother Reena Thakur is a housewife.
Last year, Neha won a bronze medal at the Asian Sailing Championships in Abu Dhabi and qualified for the Asian Games.
Neha took to sailing at a very young age and was identified and groomed by the National Sailing School Bhopal.
"She sailed fantastically throughout and won her first medal for the country in the Asian Games," said Capt. Jitendra Dixit, secretary general, Yachting Federation of India.
He said Neha caught the attention of YAI a couple of years back when she did well in the national circuit. "We picked her up from there and provided her further training. She has been training in Europe and participating in sailing events abroad, but this is her first medal of this nature," he said.
The YAI has great hopes for the Asian Games competitions in Hangzhou Asian Games and is expecting at least three more medals on the final day of competitions on Wednesday.
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